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SYMPOSIUM - 'Leave No Victim Behind: Victims' Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals'

Symposium: “Leave No Victim Behind: Victims’ Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals 

Every year, Victim Support Europe commemorates the European Day for Victims of Crime, a day dedicated to advocating for progress in and legal improvement of comprehensive support for all victims of crime, regardless of the crime or the victim.  

In 2024, the event seeks to highlight the intrinsic connection between victims’ rights and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fostering dialogue among stakeholders to address any identifiable gaps and challenges.

By hearing victims’ testimonies and experts’ insights, the event will emphasise the need for an inclusive approach to sustainable development. 

Key Points: 

  1. Objective: By examining how victims’ rights align with specific SDG targets, the event will identify priority issues and strategies to ensure no one is left behind. 
  2. Format: The event will comprise of testimonies from victims of crime, presentations of policy briefs, and expert-led panel sessions. 
  3. Context: The upcoming revision of the 2012 Victims’ Rights Directive and the 2024 EU Elections provide a timely opportunity to advocate for victims’ rights in alignment with SDGs. 
  4. Inclusivity: By means of their testimonies, victims of crime will present the challenges they face in SDG attainment, to drive home the importance of including victim support. 
  5. Solutions: The event will propose actionable recommendations to bridge the gaps between victims’ rights and SDGs, drawing on the insights of experts and successful initiatives. 
  6. Advocacy: By using the 2030 Agenda as a tool, the event will offer attendees possible strategies with which to advocate for victims’ rights within the SDG framework. 

Overall, the event concept envisions a dynamic and effective platform, where victims’ voices and experts’ insight combine to underscore the urgency of integrating victims’ rights within the SDG agenda. Through collaboration, actionable recommendations, and shared commitment, the event aims to foster positive victim-centric change and to contribute to a more just and sustainable society.



The event will take place on 22 February 2024, from 13:30 and 17:00 pm CET. You are welcome from 13:00 pm onwards. We kindly invite you to join the networking drinks after the event, from 17:00 – 18:30 pm CET.

The Press Club Brussels
Rue Froissart 95
1040 Brussels 

The event will be broadcast live on Brussels Press Club TV.

Do you wish to attend? Register by filling out the form here.  Please note registration will close on Monday, February 19th 2024. 



22.02.2024 13:30 – 17:00 CET
Venue: The Brussels Press Club

Time Topic
13:30 – 14:00 Welcoming words 

  • Rosa Jansen | President, Victim Support Europe
  • Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska | Coordinator for Victims’ Rights, European Commission
  • Anna Giudice UN/UNODC | Team Leader of the Access to Justice Team, Division for Treaty Affairs, UNODC Headquarters in Vienna
  • Joanna Goodey | Head of Research, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
14:00 – 14:15 Live Testimony Victims’ Advocate 

  • Bart Claes & Staf Van Pelt | A Conversation on Sexual Abuse Victimization in the Church
14:15 – 15:00 Panel Session 1: Setting the Context: Exploring the Connection between Victims Rights and Specific SDGs

  • Moderator: Levent Altan| Executive Director, Victim Support Europe

Panel speakers:

  • Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska Coordinator for Victims’ Rights, European Commission | Victims’ Rights and Sustainable Development Goals in the Revised Victims’ Rights Directive
  • Tetiana Rudenko | Senior Co-ordination Adviser, Office of Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, OSCE | How the Implementation of SDGs Could Boost the Anti-Trafficking Response and Particularly Assist Victims of This Crime
  • Joanna Goodey | Head of Research at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) | Challenges in populating the SDGs with data at the EU Member State level.
  • Simon Green| Professor of Criminology & Victimology and Senior Research Fellow, Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull, UK | The interconnectedness between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and victim resilience
15:00 – 15:20 Coffee Break  
15:20 – 16:10 Panel Session 2: SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

  • ModeratorRosa Jansen | President, Victim Support Europe

Panel speakers:

  • Bart Claes, Director, CAW | Victim-sensitive approach to justice and SDG16
  • Robin Fontijne, Strategic Policy Advisor, Victim Support Netherlands
  • Anna Giudice, UNODC | Victim-Centered Justice Reforms
16:10 – 17:00 Panel Session 3: SDGs 8 & 10 – Equality and Inclusion

  • ModeratorSuzan van der Aa, Professor of Criminal law & Criminal Procedure, Maastricht Univeristy

Panel speakers:

  • Louise Bonneau, Advocacy Officer, PICUM | The Challenges Faced by Undocumented Migrants and Those with an Insecure Status Across Different Spheres of Life
  • Philippe Seidel Leroy, Policy Manager on Social Protection / European Parliament, Age Platform | Improving Access to Justice for Older Victims of Crime
  • Helen Portal, Advocacy and Policy Officer, Inclusion Europe | Improving Access to Justice for people with intellectual disabilities and their families
  • Sabrina Sanchez, Director, European Sex Workers Rights Alliance | Increasing Access to Justice for Sex Workers
17:00 – 17:10 Closing Remarks 

  • Levent Altan | Executive Director, Victim Support Europe
17:10 – 18:30 Networking Drink 



Levent Altan

Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska

Tetiana Rudenko

Joanna Goodey

Simon Green

Rosa Jansen

Bart Claes

Robin Fontijne

Anna Giudice

Suzanne Van Der Aa

Louise Bonneau

Philippe Seidel Leroy

Helen Portal

Sabrina Sanchez

Why SDG's?

European Day for Victims of Crime aims to change the landscape for victims. Our task is to improve the service and support that victims receive from the point at which a crime is reported right through to their experience in the courtroom. 

The UN sustainable development goals (SDG’s) offer a guideline for a just and sustainable future. At the heart of the SDG’s is an important call to action for all nations to band together to make this vision a reality. Specifically, we feel our work aligns with the following goals: No poverty (1), Good health and well-being (3), Quality education (4), Gender equality (5), Decent work and economic growth (8), Reduced inequalities (10), and Peace, justice and strong institutions (16). Victim Support Europe is committed to leaving no victim behind, and by relating this concept to that of the SDG’s, we feel we can improve the support available to victims of crime, therefore creating societal conditions that align with these goals.

Who is conducting the campaign?

Victim Support Europe (VSE), the leading European umbrella organisation advocating on behalf of all victims of crime, has developed Leave No One Behind: Victims’ Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals – Symposium.

We have partnered with civil society organisations, various project participants, member organisations and experts in the field of victims’ rights to spread the word about the campaign and share victims’ experiences from different groups in society.

If you have any further question or you would like to contribute to ​Leave No One Behind: Victims’ Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals, you can contact: Lieselotte Van Den Heuvel,


Do you wish to attend? Register by filling out the form here.  Please note registration will close on Monday, February 19th 2024. 

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Victim Support Europe and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

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